The one-rupee coin might be much more valuable than it seems, or at least that is what many in Swat have been led to believe. Rumours that the coins contain gold caused a stir in Swat Valley, with people clamouring to get their hands on it, some paying as much as Rs50 to Rs100 for a single coin.
“I bought some coins for Rs60 to Rs70 each, spending Rs5,000, and will sell them to a dealer on profit,” said Izhar, a resident of Amankot.
In Mingora Bazaar, people seemed to be in a rush. While some were buying the coins, others seemed more intent on selling and bargaining.
“In the morning, one coin was sold for Rs35 but later on the price reached Rs100. Some dealers have invested hundreds of thousands of rupees in the coins. But no one knows how and where to find an upper market,” said Samiullah, a shopkeeper.
This new surge has overwhelmed people of all ages. At their homes, women are busy collecting the coins, whereas children and men are on a blind hunt for the bronze-coloured coin.
“Since morning, hundreds of people have come to enquire about the one-rupee coins. They demand it even for Rs100. I don’t know if it’s worth it but I’ve set aside some 80 coins to sell on profit,” said Fazal Wahid a shopkeeper in Sethi Mills Mohallah.
This is not the first time that the rumour has swept the valley. Elders recall similar rumours in the past.
“I went bankrupt due to such baseless rumours back in 1970. Two men circulated 10-paisa coins in the market, claiming that they had gold in them. I spent thousands of rupees on the coins. But none of the dealers would buy them,” lamented Umar Ali, an elderly man.
Banks said that there is no gold in the coins and that people should refrain from such dealings.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.